Drama and contention will be in high supply as the underdogs prepare for their biggest challenge yet this season and in 15 years, facing an undefeated and in-form Puaikura in the 2016 CIFA Knockout Cup final.
It’s all set to go, with Avatiu chasing after their long-awaited title in the domestic competition, while Puaikura eyes a clean sweep this season.
The wait for glory has been a long time coming for the team in blue and yellow, after years of trying and failing to reach this far in the domestic football competition.
The last time the side featured in the knockout final was in 2001 when they eventually lost to Tupapa Maraerenga.
Today, Avatiu which will be led by the likes of their veteran skipper Bim Tou along with Atu Putere and Nathan Tisam in the mid-attacking as well as the young speedster Rechimaer Rairoa upfront, will be hoping to go a notch better.
Make no mistake the side is tough and strong-willed despite their uncalculated success throughout the knockout stages of the competition.
Going into today’s match, they will certainly be the underdogs, with nothing to lose.
On the other side however, the stakes are high for Puaikura, the only unbeaten premier men’s team this season.
Leading the play will undoubtedly be crucial in the attack-play with the likes of Pekay Edwards, Dwayne Tiputoa and the return of his brother Conroy upfront, backed up by Kimiora Samuel and coach-player Anthony Samuela in the midfield.
The side also features veteran Paavo Mustonen.
While the historic clash between the two favours Puaikura, it is expected to be a different ball game in the showdown as both teams will be leaving no stone unturned in their bid to finish their 2016 campaign on a high.
Before the main game, eight teams in the under-8 and 11 mixed divisions will take to the field to demonstrate their skills in some interesting matches starting at 4pm.
There will be many prizes to give away to the junior teams straight after each game in both divisions.
- CIFA Media
Today: CIFA Complex, Matavera – 4pm Under 8 mixed Field 1 Tupapa-Matavera (Ref James Nand); Field 2 Puaikura-Titikaveka (Ref Amnish Prasad), 4.30pm Under 11 mixed Field 1 Puaikura-Matavera (Ref James Nand), Field 2 Tupapa-Titikaveka (Ref Amnish Prasad), 5pm Premier Men Avatiu FC-Puaikura FC (Ref Maara Kaukura, Assist: Mata Iroa, John Pareanga)